Friday, September 30, 2011

Taco Skillet

This is my favorite kind of recipe.  Dump it all in a pot and cook it.

hamburger meat
taco seasoning
ranch beans or chili beans or black beans
rice ( I buy Success brown rice in the pouch )

brown meat and add taco seasoning.
while meat is cooking, boil rice according to directions.
add corn and zucchini to meat and cook until zucchini is tender.
mix meat and rice together.
top with cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, etc.
serve with chips, tortillas, or salad.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oatmeal Creme Pies

One of my goals as a stay at home mom is to buy less over-processed-sugar-loaded-junk-food from the store and make more things from scratch at home.  This week we're trying Homemade Oatmeal Creme Pies from The Craving Chronicles.  Ok, I know.  There is A LOT of sugar in these.  It still  HAS to be healthier than store bought though.  And I made smaller ones.  And I halved the recipe.  That should help, right?

Here is the recipe.  Halved, it makes 9 cookies.  18 would have been WAY too many.

Oatmeal Cream Pies
from Nosh with Me via The Craving Chronicles
Cookie Ingredients
1 cup margarine
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups quick oats
Cream Filling Ingredients
2 teaspoons very hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. In large bowl, cream margarine, sugars, molasses, vanilla, and eggs.
2. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
3. Add to the creamed mixture; mix in the oats.
4. Drop dough by TBS on ungreased sheets. (I used a small cookie scoop.)
5. Bake at 350 degrees F.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes,or until just starting to brown around the edges.
7. They will look moist; don’t overcook.
8. While the cookies bake prepare the filling.
9. In small bowl, dissolve the salt in the hot water.
10. Allow this to cool.
11. Combine marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla in med bowl; mix on high until fluffy.
12. Add the cooled salt water and mix well.
13. Spread filling on flat side of one cookie, press 2nd cookie on top.

I think 10-12 minutes is too long.  My cookies were a little crisp on the edges.  If you make smaller cookies then bake for 8-9 minutes instead.

Mine aren't nearly as pretty as the chick's from The Craving Chronicles.  Oh well, they were good.  And my oldest's reaction?  "Uh, they have cookies just like this at the store you know."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Spray Paint T-Shirts

My hubby and I's date nights usually consist of dinner at a "nice" restaurant (aka: not Sonic) and shopping at Target.  This weekend was no exception.  We picked ourselves up some new OU t-shirts at Target and started to pick some up for the girls when I decided there was no way I was paying eighteen bucks a piece for t-shirts my kids would ruin in 2.2 seconds.  So I decided to make some.

I've seen this idea a hundred times.  My daughter's first grade teacher makes tie-dye shirts this way every year for her students.  You can also search "spray paint shirt" on Pinterest or Google and see lots of different examples.  There really is nothing to it.  First, draw or print off the computer the design you want.  I printed off an "O" and "U" and stapled them together to make the OU logo.  Then I printed off some hearts to girl it up a little.  You can either cut out the shapes and use the remaining paper as a stencil or use the shape to get the reverse look.  I did both for this shirt.  And you don't have to worry about cutting it out perfectly.  It's supposed to look kind of industrial messy.

Next, go somewhere well ventilated but not in the wind.  Put some cardboard inside your shirt to make a firm painting surface and to prevent bleed through.  Place your cut-outs on your shirt.  Here is where gloves or pins to hold the cut-out down would have come in handy.  I used my bare fingers instead.  Lightly spray your spray paint over the cut-out.  Dry according to can instructions.  Ours were dry within a few hours.  I also washed the shirts before and after.  That's it!

Cost comparison : Target $18 x 3 = $54         DIY $4 x 3 = $12 + spray paint $4 = $16

You can see how this ties in to our homeschooling here.

Homeschool : F is for Fall

So, this week is the first official week of me being a full time stay at home mom.  I've always worked at least part time so this is a big change for us.  In an effort to prevent my 2 little ones from being behind when they start pre-k next year (because they really were learning A LOT at daycare) I've decided to do a little homeschooling with them every day.  We're not going to be super structured or strict with it...I mean they're three...but I want them to at least know their colors, how to count, and how to write a few letters.

This week our theme is Fall.  We're talking about and practicing the letter F, talking about colorful fall leaves, talking about and experiencing Fair Food, and talking about Football.  Important stuff.

Day #1 Football and "F"
The girls did an "F" worksheet and actually surprised me at how well they traced the lines.  Maybe this won't be so hard.  They also colored a football player color sheet and we talked about how daddy used to play football and who our favorite team is (University of Oklahoma of course).  Which led in to our craft for today...making OU t-shirts.  We waited for Sister to get home to do this one so she could have a shirt too.

 big sister's shirt

little sisters' shirt

Instructions for the shirts can be found here.
And all worksheets can be printed for free from

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Please ignore this!

I found this on Pinterest and it didn't link to anywhere.  This is the only way I could figure out how to show it to my friend Piper.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Grilled Cheese Sammich

Ok, so this is not your normal grilled cheese sandwich.  It's more like a panini but I'm too cheap to buy a panini press.  And I don't like how crunchy paninis are anyway.  So this is better than a panini.

2 slices of bread of your choice ( I use 100% whole wheat...gotta get that fiber and whole grain in there )
1 slice cheese of your choice ( I use plain 'ol American but if I have colby jack I use that instead )
deli meat of your choice ( I used ham today but turkey is good too )
sliced tomatoes
fresh spinach

Butter one slice of bread.  Put in skillet over medium-high heat.  Layer spinach, cheese, tomato, meat.  Top with the other slice of buttered bread.  I layer the spinach first so it has time to wilt.  Then cheese next because that helps with the flip.  The flip is tricky on this sandwich.  Cook, like, 3 minutes on each side.  I usually eat it with a cup of Italian dressing for dipping but since we had leftover Tortellini Soup I had that instead.  I think the best thing about grilled cheese is that you can pretty much throw anything you have on it and it's still a yummy, gooey, cheesy sandwich.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Soup 'O the Week : Tortellini Soup

It's *almost* fall here in Oklahoma.  Fall and Winter = Soup for me so once (or twice) a week we'll be having soup for dinner.  This week's soup is Tortellini Soup.  I'm borrowing this recipe from Annie's Eats but simplifying it a bit.  Because, you know, I'm not a "saute the onions" kind of girl.

Italian seasoning
Pepper (and if you want, Salt but the chicken broth is salty enough if you buy the regular )
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices ( I bought the seasoned ones )
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth ( the carton is 4 cups FYI )
1 pkg frozen or fresh tortellini
3 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed

In a large pot bring broth, seasonings, and tomatoes to a boil.  Add the tortellini and cook per pkg instructions.  Add the spinach.  Remove from heat.  Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parmesan cheese if desired.  Serve with salad and bread.  This literally took 20 minutes.  So easy and YUM!

I'm back! Sorta.

Wow.  I have been super sick for about 9 weeks now.  Blah.  After 3 trips to ER, 6 different doctors, too many tests and labs to count my GI doctor finally figured out I have an active CMV (Cytomegalovirus) infection.  It's one of two viruses that cause Mono.  There is no treatment...just rest and TLC.  I thought I'd quickly mention my symptoms and timeline in case someone out there also has a "mystery disease".

heat exhaustion
low blood sugar
light headed
heart palpitations - benign PVC
panic attacks / anxiety
rapid heartbeat / slow heartbeat
fever / feeling hot with no fever
intolerance to caffeinne
intolerance to alcohol
motion sickness
muscle weakness
joint pain

loss of appetite
more of the above

light headed
heart palpitations (although much less)

I was previously diagnosed with possible low hormones, panic disorder/generalized anxiety, Lyme disease, acid reflux, sinus infection, possible gall bladder infection, and possible adrenal gland tumor.  I had low potassium at the beginning (dehydration?), elevated Lipase at one point, and an abnormal clotting factor.  I was prescribed too many meds to list and am currently only taking Omeprazole for acid reflux, Multi-vitamins, Probiotics (after 2 rounds of antibiotics), and Claritin for allergies.  My CMV reactivation was probably due to stress so in addition to the 6 weeks I've been off work I'm taking another few weeks off to make sure I'm well rested before adding that back to my life.  Gotta take care of me and my family first.